Palanca border crossing point, built with the support of the European Union, to be launched in three months
The construction of the new state border crossing point at Palanca, jointly administered by the customs and border police authorities of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, is close to 70% finalization and the facility is to be launched by the end of 2018. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.
The construction site occupies 2.6 ha and includes an administrative building with offices, check points for cars, trucks and pedestrians. “There are 90 workers currently working on the site, doing finishing works inside and outside, applying a concrete layer on the platform for cars and trucks and doing other necessary on-site works. All structures have been built now, and we are installing external electricity network, water supply and sewerage system, telephone line and natural gas pipeline,” says Adrian Bejenaru, Project Manager.
The new border crossing point will be connected to Odesa-Reni highway through a new access road. This road building project was funded by the Government of Moldova, which allocated 630,000 Euro; the works started in August earlier this year. The road will have three lanes, one for acceleration and one for deceleration. All preparatory works on the access road project were finalized by the end of September, and now the workers are building the embankment of compacted clay, and cables for outdoor lighting have already been installed. Readiness of the road building project is 40%, so the road will be launched together with the border crossing point.
It is estimated that the new border crossing point will facilitate traffic at the border, because all control procedures will take less than 10 minutes. Thus, if currently the annual number of those who cross border at Palanca is about 600,000 persons, this number is expected to significantly increase with launching of the new point. The number of vehicles crossing the border here is also expected to double, so waiting lines will soon become history.
Jana Dascal, a 53-year old driver from Balti, crosses the border with Ukraine at least once a month, when she goes to visit her 73-year old father, who lives in a small village in Odessa Oblast. The woman must cover 380 km in one direction and crossing border in rush hours, when there is an intensive traffic of passengers and vehicles, is very much time-consuming. “The longest time I’ve spent here queuing up was a month ago, when I took my family to the seaside. We had two small children in the car and had to spend here four hours. We hope that after this new check point is launched, we will no longer have such problems,” says the woman.
Her opinion is shared by Felix Caroli, a man born in the Republic of Moldova, who currently resides in Israel. He must cross the border at Palanca every time he goes visiting his family or friends. “Anyone who arrives here is interested to cross border as soon as possible, because nobody wants to queue up here for hours. Where there are lines, there are also more corruption risks,” notes the man. ewhere
The border crossing point does not only reduce waiting times, it has other advantages as well. Thus, the way it is designed, it will meet the needs of all travelers, including people with disabilities: there are ramps and adjusted toilets. Special premises were designed for asylum seekers. The border crossing point will also have a check point for the pedestrians to check persons who cross border on foot or by bicycle.
The current border crossing point at Palanca is in an old building, and its infrastructure can no longer cope with huge traffic of passengers and vehicles crossing the border here.
Palanca State Border Crossing Point and the access road to Odesa-Reni highway will be launched later this year. The project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with a budget of 6.18 million Euro, including 4.5 million Euro from the European Union and 1.68 million Euro allocated by the Government of the Republic of Moldova.